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Reconstructing Earth: Technology and Environment in the Age of Humans [Paperback]

by Braden Allenby
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

June 15, 2005 1597260150 978-1597260152 1

The Earth's biological, chemical, and physical systems are increasingly shaped by the activities of one species-ours. In our decisions about everything from manufacturing technologies to restaurant menus, the health of the planet has become a product of human choice. Environmentalism, however, has largely failed to adapt to this new reality.

Reconstructing Earth offers seven essays that explore ways of developing a new, more sophisticated approach to the environment that replaces the fantasy of recovering pristine landscapes with a more grounded viewpoint that can foster a better relationship between humans and the planet. Braden Allenby, a lawyer with degrees in both engineering and environmental studies, explains the importance of technological choice, and how that factor is far more significant in shaping our environment (in ways both desirable and not) than environmental controls. Drawing on his varied background and experience in both academia and the corporate world, he describes the emerging field of "earth systems engineering and management," which offers an integrated approach to understanding and managing complex human/natural systems that can serve as a basis for crafting better, more lasting solutions to widespread environmental problems.

Reconstructing Earth not only critiques dysfunctional elements of current environmentalism but establishes a foundation for future environmental management and progress, one built on an understanding of technological evolution and the cultural systems that support modern technologies. Taken together, the essays offer an important means of developing an environmentalism that is robust and realistic enough to address the urgent realities of our planet.

Reconstructing Earth is a thought-provoking new work for anyone concerned with the past or future of environmental thought, including students and teachers of environmental studies, environmental policy, technology policy, technological evolution, or sustainability.


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Reconstructing Earth: Technology and Environment in the Age of Humans + Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies -- and What It Means to Be Human
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Braden Allenby is professor of civil and environmental engineering and professor of law at Arizona State University. Until 2004, he was vice president for environment, health and safety at AT&T, and is author or co-author of numerous textbooks.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Island Press; 1 edition (June 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597260150
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597260152
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,367,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Necessary for Every Engineer March 14, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is one of the very best courses I have ever taken at university. The author, Dr. Allenby, is a dynamic and impassioned person. This book should be read by every engineer. It is about ESEM, Earth Systems and Engineering Management. It is a reasoned, in-depth and edifying look at our anthropogenic earth. This means that humans and the earth are now inseparable in their interactions. It shines the light of reason on the "sustainability" movement. It treats the issue of what to do and how to go about understanding the complex earth systems and engage in a reasoned unification of ideals and purpose so that we may all benefit and go forward. He makes the case that it is a very complex problem, and explains his 14 principles that are very enlightening. A must read!
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